Archive | May, 2012

Mural Monday!

28 May

Happy Memorial Day!  And Happy Mural Monday to you all!  In honor of this wonderful holiday in which we remember all the soldiers lost, I’m doing my most patriotic mural.  Ok, it’s not an America flag and it’s not a scene from a famous battle, but it’s the next best thing: A space shuttle!

When we bought our house, I wanted to give Big A a Big Boy room so he could transition out of his crib and into a big bed.  I bought this adorable outer space bedding and told him it could only go in the big bed.  He was VERY excited about the new bedding and didn’t want to be in his crib for much longer.  Granted, once he moved into the big bed we didn’t sleep a full night for 3 years!

I spent a lot of time on my space shuttle, which started out looking like a flying dolphin.  I’d never done a shuttle before, and while it’s not perfect, it was loved on his wall for 4 years until we switched to Star Wars.

In the far left corner there was a moon that glowed in the dark, but I don’t have a shot of that.

Hope you enjoyed my 2nd installment of Mural Monday, and stay tuned because there are many more to come!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!

 

Advertisements

Mural Monday!

21 May

This is my first of several installments of Mural Monday!  I paint a LOT and just love to toot my horn, so I thought Mondays for the next several weeks should be designated to show off my murals.  All of them are children’s characters or scenes, and all of them have been done for my kids.  I always tell Handy Hubby if we had more open wall space I would be able to paint more murals!

This week I am going to showcase for you the very first mural I ever did for Big A.  I had to get special permission from our landlord at the time to paint in Big A’s bedroom.  I decided on the Jungle Book as a theme and ran with it.  Weeks of meticulous painting and a lot of paint later my little man had an adorable Jungle Book themed bedroom!  I still miss that wall, I have wished we could take the whole wall with us when we moved out!

I’m sure if you’ve seen the Jungle Book, you know who King Louie is!  He’s the crazy king of the monkeys who wants the mancub to live with him and teach him all of man’s tricks.

I painted him dancing because the musical number her does in the movie is really cute!

 

Next we have Balloo the bear.  He’s the loveable bear who befriends the mancub and takes him in when he doesn’t have anywhere else to go.  I have to admit, he came out a little lumpy and thick in the middle . . .but he’s a bear, they hold a lot of weight in their tummies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my personal favorite . . .Shere Khan the tiger!  In the stories, Shere Khan is a bad guy, hunting the mancub and wanting to kill him.  But that is too scary for a 1 yr old, so I painted Shere Khan happily laying in the grass.  This is maybe Shere Khan’s alter ego!  Big A would walk over to Shere Khan and pet the wall . . .”Nice kitty!  Nice kitty!”  Ha ha! 

So there you have it, my first mural for my first son!  Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!  Stay tuned for Mural Monday for the next few weeks as I highlight my work and toot my own horn!  Toot toot!

For the Love of Wubbzy

20 May

When Big A was 2, he had an obsession with an adorable little yellow cartoon character named Wubbzy.  I have to admit, the show was cute, the songs were catchy and after a few weeks of non stop “Fwow Ow Ubby” as Big A called it, Handy Hubby and I were also hooked.  Wow Wow Wubbzy was a relatively new Nick Jr cartoon at the time, and merchandise was not yet available.  I subscribed to the Wubblog in desperation, hoping they were going to post some great toy for Big A’s birthday.  No such luck.  They showed off a few prototypes, but that was all.

With Big A’s birthday fast approaching, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  If my boy wanted a “Ubby” plush for his birthday, then darn it he was going to get one!  How hard could it be?  Wubbzy was a pretty simple character.

I went to the fabric store and bought a few yards of yellow fleece, batting, and black felt.  I drew out the shape of Wubbzy on the felt, cut him out and got to work.  The body was easy, similar to a pillow.  His hands, on the other hand, well not so much.  The tail, being skinny, we hard to turn right side out.  The finished product, while it looked like Wubbzy to my 2 yr old, was not my best work.  But Big A was satisfied, I was somewhat satisfied, and my creation was even debuted on the Wubblog

I may not be a seamstress, or a master toy maker, but once again I have proved what I cannot buy, I will make!

Napkin Pillows

19 May

Ever since we redid our living room I’ve been searching for new pillows for our sofa and love seat.  I knew I wanted green, but that was as far as I got.  Everywhere I looked they were either too expensive (for on I loved but it was $80!) or just not the right patten.

One day on a routine trip to Target, I stumbled across some awesome fabric napkins on clearance for $4 a pack.  There were 4 napkins per pack, so I bought 2 packs.  They were almost the exact same pattern as the $80 pillow I fell in love with, the right shade of green!  Score!

My mom had been holding on to some pillows from her apartment and they were just the right shape and size to cover with my napkins.  She didn’t need them, and it meant I didn’t have to buy pillow forms.  Score again!

How does one cover a pillow with napkins?  I’m so glad you asked!

Iron the napkins to get all the creases out from being folded in a package.  You can wash them if they are washable, which I recommend for pillows that will be laid on.

How many napkins you need for each pillow will depend on the size of your pillows.  Mine were standard throw pillows, about 12×12 and I used 2 napkins per pillow, without having to cut any of the napkin.

Lay the napkins pattern side in and pin along 3 sides.  You will use the seams of the napkins as a guideline for the foot of your sewing machine.

Sew along 3 sides staying right inside the seam and all the way to the corner of the 4th side.

Once the 3 sides are sewn, turn the napkin fabric side out and slide your pillow in.

If you are using a zipper, good for you, but I think zippers are a royal pain and they cost about as much as just buying a new pillow.  I just did the hidden hand stitch on the 4th side.

My finished product turned out great, took about an hour for 3 pillows and cost me $8!

 

Chandelier Revamp

16 May

When we bought our house 5 years ago, we painted every room.  After renting for what seemed like FOREVER, I couldn’t look at another “rental regulation white” wall!  Booooriiiiing!  But along with the typical white walls of rentals are the cheap and hideous brass chandeliers that have hung in every place I’ve rented ever.  You know the ones . . .bright brass, 5 lights with frosted glass domes.  Well much to my dismay, these are not only rental regulation chandeliers, but apparently also builder regulation because they are cheap.  Sigh.  So I was going to have to keep looking at this ugly light, or buy a new one.  Except if I bought a new one for the dining room, I would need all new fixtures for the kitchen and hallway too because those were all that bright brass I loathe. 

With the thought of spending hundreds of dollars on new light fixtures keeping me up late at night because I’m dreadfully cheap, I turned to an old and very dear friend of mine: Spray Paint.

Yes, Spray Paint and I have come to love each other over the years.  Refinishing ugly tables, picture frames, old bikes . . .and now shiny brass light fixtures.

Before painting the light, I had to clean it REALLY well.  They get dusty and paint won’t stick to dust.  After cleaning the light and removing the glass domes and light bulbs, lay it on cardboard on the driveway or some place that is well ventilated.  No need to get a buzz off the fumes!

You need a spray primer, I used automotive primer.  But any primer for metal will do.  Spray evenly over the fixture and let dry several hours.  After the primer is dry, take sandpaper to any drips and smooth them out.  Of course, I NEVER make drips when I paint.  Wink wink.

Once the primer is dry and any drips are gone, spray paint the fixture with your desired color and sheen of paint.  I used a textured black, which gave the light the look of being wrought iron.  Leave it to dry a few hours, sand out any drips again, and touch up any areas where the paint didn’t hit.

When your touch ups are dry, put the bulbs and domes back on, hang your fixture, and enjoy the fact that for around $10 you got a brand new light that looks like you spent hundreds! 

Since the chandelier turned out so friggin awesome, I did all the lights in the kitchen and hall to match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tee hee . . .that last one is what I refer to as the “nipple light”.

Zucchini Parmesan

15 May

This is a super delicious recipe that is so easy even Handy Hubby has made it and had it turn out!

What you need:

1/2 cup flour

3 eggs lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs

3 large zucchini (about 2lbs) cut 1/4 inch thick the long way

1/4 cup canola oil

1 25oz jar marinara sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 cup basil leaves

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375.  Coat a 13×9 baking dish with non stick spray.

Place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate bowls.  Lightly coat zucchini with flower, dip in egg, then coat with bread crumbs.

Heat 2tbs of oil in skillet over medium heat.  Cook zucchini 1 1/2-2 min per side until golden brown.  Add more oil as needed.

Spoon 1/2 cup of sauce in bottom of baking dish.  Evenly place zucchini (about 3 slices across) Top with 3/4 cup sauce, and 2/3 cup mozzarella and basil leaves.  Repeat with 2nd layer.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and loosely cover with non stick foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and bake additional 10 minutes.  Cool before serving.

Enjoy!

 

Recycled Board Books

13 May

We have a TON of books at our house.  The kids love to read, Handy Hubby and I both love to read . . . but books, sadly don’t last forever.  It seems a crime to me to throw them away.  We have so many kid’s books that are falling apart from years of being read, stepped on and used as car tunnels.  I was cleaning off the book shelves on day and found several board books that were falling apart, missing the “lift the flap” flaps or had just been outgrown.  Big A loves to make his own books, so I re-purposed the old, tired board books for him to use when he wants to write and illustrate a story.

You need board books, mod podge, and heavy drawing or water color paper. 

Spread a thin layer of mod podge on each page, then stick the paper on and rub out the bubbles.  It may curl a little as the mod podge dries.  I did 2 layers of paper because the books I was using were really colorful and I didn’t want the old pages showing through the new ones. 

Let them dry for about 24 hours before you draw or paint in them.  If you plan to paint, I highly recommend using water color paper.